The rumors will persist all season long and will likely pop up on a monthly basis early in the season, but will become more frequent as the trade deadline approaches. Every team’s top prospects will be heading to Miami in exchange for Giancarlo Stanton. Some will be utterly ridiculous and others will be interesting enough to contemplate. This week’s version of the rumor includes the New York Mets shipping out their top two prospects, catcher Travis d’Arnuad and pitcher Zack Wheeler, for the Marlins right fielder. Normally, this would be ludicrous to even discuss, but this Marlins organization is run a little differently than normal as we all know and, besides, it’s not like there is anything interesting happening on the field to talk about.
So who are these two suspects and what would they bring to the Marlins that would merit this even being brought up? Well let’s take a look:
Catcher Travis d’Arnarud was acquired by the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade with the Blue Jays this offseason. He was the top rated prospect in the Blue Jay system at the time of the trade. Ironically, he was also the top rated prospect in the Blue Jay system at the time of the Marlins trade, so in essence if this trade were to occur the Marlins would be once again raiding the Toronto minor league system. He was rated the #6 overall prospect by MLB.com and had slash line of .333/.380/.595 in Triple-A last season. Here is what John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com had to say about him:
“D’Arnaud is a right-handed hitter, listed at 6-2, 195, bon February 10, 1989. Scouts like his power and anticipate he’ll be a significant threat with the bat, plausibly being a 20-homer a year guy. He’s hit for average over the last two seasons, although his home parks have been friendly for offense and he’s probably not a .300 hitter in the majors. His plate discipline isn’t the best and he doesn’t draw many walks, but he keeps his strikeout rates under control. His defense is well-regarded, with his mobility, arm strength, and leadership skills all ranked as solid or better.
Although he’s not perfect, D’Arnaud has a good balance of offensive and defensive skills. He is either the best or second-best catching prospect in baseball, with Mike Zunino of the Seattle Mariners being his only serious competitor.”
Zach Wheeler is a right handed pitcher who was acquired by the Mets from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Carlos Beltran in 2011. Wheeler is rated as the #8 overall prospect by MLB.com and posted a 12-8 record between Double A and Triple A last season with a 3.26 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. Here is a quote from Sickels on Wheeler:
“Aside from some control wobbles in Triple-A, he had a terrific year. Projects as a number two starter. Can he duplicate what Matt Harvey did? It’s possible.”
Not bad, right? Marlins get arguably the top catching prospect in baseball who is major league ready plus a #2 starter who can slot in right behind Jose Fernandez in the rotation in the next 2 years. This makes Henderson Alvarez and Nate Eovaldi into #3 or #4 starters which probably suits their talents much better. The Double A outfield of Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna can all come up to the majors together in a couple of years with no Stanton in the way. The Marlins would just need to get the infield sorted out and would be on their way to a championship baseball team.
Uh…think again, here’s a point that likely makes this trade laughable Giancarlo Stanton and Wheeler are the same age (23) and d’Arnaud is actually a year older at 24. So you are trading a younger proven star quality player for older guys who have never set foot on a major league diamond. On that point alone I am going to have to say NO to this one.